How to Pack a 30L Bag for 2 Weeks in Europe

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Overpacking in 2018 is a major problem that can affect your wallet fast if you’re traveling with budget airlines. Nowadays airlines have fees for a carry on that can add an extra $100. This is something I hate, and with budget airlines being my main way of flying (Sorry mileage programs, they just don’t work for me) packing light has become a way of life. If you’re interested in reading about how to find cheap flights, check out my post Broke Girls Guide to Cheap Flights (I break down the process of how I find flights). But with that let me get into packing with a 30L Bag.


The bag I have fallen in love with is the well-reviewed Osprey Porter 30L. It averages at $120, but Amazon warehouse has open box deals on occasion so keep on the lookout if you don’t need it immediately. The reason I love this bag is because it opens like a suitcase and has compression straps! The compression straps make it, so you can squeeze down your bag to fit under your seat (because yes, it does fit under your seat). In my opinion, having this bag is a game changer in packing because of the organizational aspects. I’ll insert photos throughout but if you want a full review of this bag please check out this YouTube video.


The second item I feel is required for packing smart is compression bags. I purchased the Eagle Creek compression bags after my trip to Ireland where I used regular organizing bags because I wanted to see how much of a difference the compression made. And it makes quite a difference! I love using the Medium compression bag from this Eagle Creek set.

What I’m packing for 2 weeks with 1 Medium Compression Bag:

  • 5 Tops
  • 1 Bandeau Top
  • 1 Dress
  • 2 Bottoms
  • 1 Sleep Short

What I wear on the plane:

  • Chunky Sweater
  • Black Camisole
  • Blue Jeans
  • Beanie
  • Scarf
  • Leather Jacket
How the clothes looks before compression. I do keep with dark colors so it’s easier to mix and match but this is everything I have listed above!

The medium compression bag when filled fills about almost half the bag. This is not something I’m concerned with as the side pockets inside the bag work perfectly for socks and underwear.

The trick with packing your clothes is making sure all items are cohesive. So, if you bring 1 pair of pants, that should mean that they go with all your tops. This will help you get the most out of your wardrobe. The more versatile the piece the better!

I’ve been the person to pack enough socks and underwear for everyday of a trip but find that packing enough for a week to work best as you can wash in the sink wherever you go (AKA 7 underwear, 4 socks, 2 bras). If you don’t like to wash as you travel you can use the second small compression bag to help you save space.

Don’t forget to wear your bulkier items on the flight! This will not only keep you warm on the frigid flights but allow you to take the chunky sweater you love so much. This is a great rule of thumb for jackets too as they take up the most space and once you make it through the TSA you can hold it until you land at your destination.


This is the messenger bag I’m in love with right now!

Using the Osprey as your personal bag will take away the ability to carry anything else. I recently purchased this messenger bag from NeatPack because I wanted a bag that could carry my toiletries, camera, tablet, and miscellaneous. It has 9 pockets that even I can’t keep track of, but it came in handy during my last trip to Philadelphia.

Interested in what I pack in my personal bag? Check out my personal bag checklist. It’s self-explanatory as I write out everything because I always forget something when I travel. The only part of the checklist that isn’t included is my travel makeup (but it’s coming soon).


I’ve never been a major shoe person, so this is easy for me, but I recommend only packing one pair of shoes and wearing the other. UNLESS you’re staying at a hostel! I like bringing a neutral tone boot and a sneaker. This is a great way to have style and comfort. Now more then ever I’m seeing girls on social media wear Adidas. As a female I love that this is becoming a trend because I don’t think comfort should be sacrificed for the perfect Instagram shot.


Now, if you filled up the entire bag like I have, it’s time to lock this bag up! Take your lock and cinch this bag up! You’re all done packing and can now enjoy your trip and everyone at the airport can be jealous of how easy you make it through the gates.

If you’re looking for a larger bag check out the Osprey Porter 46L (same style as the 30L) and my favorite that got me through Ireland, the Patagonia black hole MLC. These are larger bags so they will not fit under the seat so if you plan to use one of these bags be prepared to either check it or use as a normal carry on.  

Later this month I will be coming out with a look book post using the 6 tops, 3 bottoms, and dress I packed up in my 30L.

Hopefully, you’ve found these tips for your next trip helpful! Make sure to like, follow, and share with your travel buddies! Thank you for reading and if you want to learn more about travel and minimalism, make sure to check out a few of my other posts!

Until next time,

Colleen Rose


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